Making the Grades
The VeggieTales brand has gained a significant audience since their humble beginning as a series of half-hour home videos illustrating biblical stories using talking vegetables as characters. Created by mastermind Phil Vischer -- a witty nerd with Christian principles who was smitten by computer animation during the art form's earliest years -- the franchise was growing faster than potatoes in Idaho until a deal went sour and left the parent company financially destitute.
Since the reorganization, plots in the animated garden are somewhat less overtly religious, yet they still carry a thoughtful message about doing good things. Thus The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything won't feel like a Sunday sermon, but you can still expect a moral about finding the courage and determination to make good choices and work together to solve problems.
The story involves three veggie characters that, thanks to a "Silly Song" in one of those early videos -- have become known as The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything. The slothful seafarers open this movie working as "cabin boys" (a fancy term for bus boys) in a themed dinner theater featuring (quoting a term from the original song) a piratey performance.
In spite of their dreary jobs, they dream of one day taking the stage and becoming part of the production. Unfortunately they are missing more than just acting skills. George (Pa Grape) has an abundance of good ideas but lacks the courage to put any of them into action. Fearful Elliot (Larry the Cucumber) keeps an ongoing list of his paranoia and lazy Sedgewick (Mr. Lunt) is just pennies away from having to move back in with his parents.
Botching their one chance to prove they have what it takes to entertain the eaters, the dejected trio begins their walk home when suddenly a golden orb appears. A push of the object's flashing button sends them on a journey where they will be forced to overcome their self-imposed limitations and eventually ripen into the vegetables they were intended to become.
Not surprisingly, there is little here for parents to fear, other than some swashbuckling action of the very mildest sort. Cannonballs do fly in a battle scene, and there are a few moments of mild peril (involving cheese curls and sea monsters) that may incite fear in the very youngest of viewers. One secondary character also appears to die from drowning.
It's good to see Larry and the gang back in fine form. And although the biblical references have nearly disappeared, Phil Vischer's cool-as-a-cucumber wit is evident in many scenes giving this film a good chance at getting some serious green at the box office.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything: A Veggie Tales Movie.
This movie says, “A hero is the one who, no matter how hard, does what he knows is right.” How does this statement differ from the types of heroes we often see portrayed in media?
The three main characters in this film are all given opportunities to overcome their fears thanks to being presented with a difficult, yet achievable, challenge. Do you see your challenges as opportunities to grow? How does our attitude toward adversity alter our ability to cope with difficult circumstances?